NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said that the alliance will increase its force in Afghanistan to as many as 15,000 troops—and expand its activities to include counterinsurgency operations in the southern portion of the country. Until now, NATO troops have been used to stabilize the capital and the seemingly peaceful north and west of the country but would need new rules of engagement to deploy in the south where anti-coalition still present a challenge, the NATO chief added. It remains to be seen whether those allies—principally France, Germany, and Spain—that have voiced opposition to merging forces with the US and any NATO involvement beyond peacekeeping will acquiesce to this expanded role.
June 29, 2022
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